Establishment and characterisation of human alveolar macrophage like cell lines

Project title:  Establishment and characterisation of human alveolar macrophage like cell lines

Reference number: 17-18-013

Mode of attendance: Full or part time

Start date: 1 October 2018

Director of Studies: Dr Gyorgy Fejer

Second supervisor: Professor Simon Jackson

Third supervisor: Dr Ashwin Dhanda

Fourth supervisor: Dr Chris Scotton

Fifth supervisor: Dr Tina Joshi

Project description

The Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry are seeking to attract PhD candidates of outstanding ability to join their exciting and rapidly expanding programme of internationally-rated research. The Faculty are committed to research excellence with a recent £25 million investment in staff and facilities. Medical research in our faculty was ranked first for outputs in REF2014. 

Applications are invited from suitably qualified graduates, 2:1 or above, and preferably a relevant MSc qualification. International students must also have an IELTS score of 7.0 or above (with no less than 6.5 in any element). 

Lung alveolar macrophages (AMs) play key pathogenic roles in a large number of important human respiratory disorders including infectious diseases caused by bacterial, fungal and viral pathogens. AMs are best investigated using primary cells because the genetic background of transformed macrophage lines may not be well defined. However, the availability of organ-derived primary macrophages is extremely limited which makes the study of host-pathogen interactions involving AMs problematic. Recently, we developed an in vitro model of non-transformed mouse AM-like cells (MPI cells, Fejer et al, PNAS 2013). The main characteristics of macrophages are conserved in mammals, but there are also variances between different species which make the use of human cells necessary.

The aim of this studentship is to establish continuously growing human AM-like cell lines by adapting our existing methods in mice and to demonstrate the suitability of these cells for biomedical research using various approaches of immunology and molecular biology. The student will obtain training in molecular biology, immunology, microbiology and bioinformatics techniques and will work in our new state-of-the-art purpose built facility equiped with modern core facilities for cell culture, imaging, next generation sequencing, proteomic analysis, cell biology and immunology.

For further information regarding the project, please contact Dr Gyorgy Fejer. However, applications must be made in accordance with the details shown below. 

Funding notes:

The studentship is supported for three years and includes full home/EU tuition fees plus a stipend of £14,777 per annum. The studentship will only fully fund those applicants who are eligible for home/EU fees with relevant qualifications. Applicants normally required to cover overseas fees will have to cover the difference between the home/EU and the overseas tuition fee rates. For the 18/19 academic year the difference in fee is £10,610. If selected you will be required to provide financial assurances.

To apply:

Follow the link https://www.plymouth.ac.uk/student-life/your-studies/research-degrees/applicants-and-enquirers and select 'Apply now' to access the application form. Please mark the application with REF: PUPSMD-17-18-013 for the attention of Francesca Niedzielski. A project proposal is not required.

Further information on the application process. If you have any questions on the admissions process contact pupsmd-researchdegreesadmissions@plymouth.ac.uk.  

The closing date for applications is 12 noon, 15 June 2018

Shortlisted candidates will be invited for interview. We regret that we may not be able to respond to all applications. Applicants who have not received an offer by 12 July 2018 should consider their application has been unsuccessful on this occasion.